BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) -- Barbados's efforts to put a serious dent in transnational crime and increase public safety should be significantly enhanced with the allocation of US$458,000 of new funding under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).
During a brief signing ceremony on Tuesday morning, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and US Ambassador Larry Palmer further cemented the relationship between Barbados and the United States with respect to the CBSI programme by announcing an amended letter of agreement which saw the provision of this sum.
Brathwaite announced that last year Barbados and the United States executed an agreement which saw the US government granting assistance under the CBSI programme.
He said: "...What we are witnessing is a substantial ‘top up' of funds pertaining to that agreement as it is just under US $500,000 in terms of assistance. So, I want to thank the ambassador and the United States government for their continuation of the CBS Initiative which has assisted us in our various parts of the fight against crime in Barbados and across the region."
The attorney general further added that with regard to Barbados, the money was well spent as it aided this country's law enforcement personnel to have funding in terms of video interview equipment as well as polygraph training. He pointed out that the Jamaica government was now ensuring that any new recruits into the police force were first polygraphed and this method should also be adopted by Barbados and the region.
According to the minister, the Barbados Prison Service had also been a beneficiary under the CBSI programme, and it was timely as the issue of recidivism had proven to be of grave concern to him.
"With the whole issue of recidivism we are trying to ensure that wherever possible our young men and women who come into contact with the criminal justice system get assistance as much as possible so they do not return to the system," the attorney general stressed.
Meanwhile, Palmer stated that since the launch of the CBSI in 2009, the United States had committed over US$500,000 in direct bilateral assistance to Barbados to reduce illicit trafficking and increase public safety.
He said: "The CBSI is a partnership between the United States and the countries of the Caribbean under which we agreed to share the responsibility for implementing our common vision for a safer, most prosperous Caribbean region."